Tag Archives: lamb

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Superior Farms, North America’s largest lamb processor, announced that it has received approval from the USDA to begin grading carcasses with the VSS2000 System camera (Electronic Grading), the first digital camera to be approved for use in the US lamb industry. The new digital camera was installed in October 2015, and Superior Farms has worked hand-in-hand with the USDA to secure approval since then.

Rick Stott, President and CEO of Superior Farms said of the launch; “Our team worked closely with the USDA for two years validating the camera’s algorithms to assure accurate full carcass measurements of both yield and quality grades. Combining Electronic Grading with our Producer Portal will allow unprecedented access to carcass information by our producer partners that will allow every segment of our industry to continue to produce a better product.”

This Electronic Grading system will provide Superior Farms producers detailed meat information about their lambs. “We will now be able to share this detailed information with producers through our Producer Portal. This information includes the USDA Yield Grade and Quality Grade, as well as the Ovine Cutability Calculation (OCC), the primal weights (leg, loin, shoulder, rack, breast, trotters, and neck) and two digital images of each lamb carcass processed,” said Lesa Eidman, Director of Producer Resources and Sustainability for Superior Farms.

“This technology will provide our producers with an unprecedented amount of information about the meat and carcass characteristics of their lambs. Ultimately, producers will be able to make genetic and production changes to provide US lamb customers with the highest quality, most consistent product we can deliver,” added Eidman.

The next steps are to, first, pair this information with the Electronic Identification (EID) tags so that producers can see the data on an individual lamb basis. Second, to implement the technology in Superior Farms’ Denver facility.

“Now that we have received approval from the USDA for the camera grading, we can begin implementing the technology in our Denver facility,” Stott noted. “We look forward to working with the USDA to expedite the approval process so that both of our facilities have this state of the art technology.” The USDA grader will remain onsite to verify that the technology remains accurate and in-line with the USDA grading standards.

The American Lamb Board has been a vital participant in bringing this development to fruition. Most importantly, the board funded electronic grading research conducted by The Center for Meat Safety and Quality, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University. In their study titled “Industry Implications and Economics of Implementation of Lamb Instrument Grading,” The CSU found overwhelming evidence of the value of the camera technology and concluded: “… unprecedented information about lamb carcass composition and value will be collected and available. True production management decisions can be made by U.S. sheep producers with conveyance of product attributes of harvested lambs.”

Founded in 1964 with headquarters in Sacramento, California, Superior Farms is North America’s largest, and most sustainable, processor and marketer of lamb. The company is the recognized leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, providing products and services to customers throughout the United States, Canada, and more than 10 countries. The company has approximately 400 employee-owners at its nationwide network of facilities and offices. Superior Farms is an employee-owned company whose members take pride in their individual roles and contributions to the company’s success. The Superior Farms family of brands includes Superior Farms, www.superiorfarms.com; Cascade Creek, www.cascadecreeklamb.com; Farmer’s Mark, www.farmersmark.com; Twitter: @eatlamb; Instagram: @superiorfarms.

LINCOLN, Neb. – All sheep and lamb inventory in Nebraska on January 1, 2018 totaled 80,000 head, down 3,000 from last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Breeding sheep inventory totaled 67,000 head, down 4,000 from last year. Ewes one year and older totaled 55,000 head, down 3,000 from the previous year. Rams one year and older totaled 3,000, unchanged from last year. Total replacement lambs totaled 9,000 head, down 1,000 from last year.

Market sheep and lambs totaled 13,000 head, up 1,000 from last year. A total of 1,000 head were mature sheep (one year and older) while the remaining 12,000 were under one year. Market lamb weight groups were estimated as follows: 3,100 lambs were under 65 pounds; 1,900 were 65-84 pounds; 2,400 were 85-105 pounds; 4,600 were over 105 pounds.

The 2017 lamb crop totaled 70,000 head, up 5,000 from 2016. The 2017 lambing rate was 121 per 100 ewes one year and older, compared with 118 in 2016.

Sheep deaths totaled 3,700 head, up 200 from last year. Lamb deaths totaled 8,000 head, down 500 from last year.

Sheep and lambs slaughtered on farm totaled 700 head, up 200 from last year.

Shorn wool production during 2017 was 440,000 pounds, down 10,000 from 2016. Sheep and lambs shorn totaled 62,000 head, down 2,000 from 2016. Weight per fleece was 7.1 pounds, up 0.10 from last year. The average price paid for wool sold in 2017 was $0.79 per pound, compared with $0.94 in 2016. The total value of wool produced in Nebraska was 348,000 dollars in 2017.

Milk goats and kids inventory in Nebraska totaled 3,500 head, down 200 from last year.

Access the national report at:
http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/nass/SheeGoat/2010s/2018/SheeGoat-01-31-2018.pdf

Access the National Livestock Executive Briefing at:
https://www.nass.usda.gov/Newsroom/Executive_Briefings/2018/01-31-2018.pdf

Find agricultural statistics for your county, State, and the Nation at www.nass.usda.gov